F. Duane Ackerman

DEFINITION of 'F. Duane Ackerman'

The former CEO of BellSouth from 1997 to 2006 and chairman from 1998 to 2006. F. Duane Ackerman led the company through the deregulation of the telephone industry, helped it expand its international presence and oversaw its 2006 merger with AT&T.

BREAKING DOWN 'F. Duane Ackerman'

Ackerman joined the company in the customer service department in 1964. Born in Florida in 1942, he earned his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ackerman has also served as a member of the board for Allstate, the United Parcel Service and Home Depot.


Atlanta-based BellSouth became a part of AT&T after a merger in late 2006 and stopped doing business as BellSouth in mid 2007. It was one of the "Baby Bells" formed after the 1984 breakup of AT&T forced by the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit.